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Word Biblical Commentary Vol. 49, 1 Peter Hardcover – June 15, 1988
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First, like all commentaries in the Word series, the reader needs to endure the pages and pages of background information (e.g., the Qumran community) on every verse and word. A summary of this information would have been helpful to see the point of some of this research.
Second, there is not much theological reflection or interaction. For example, what are the implications of 2:4-10 in terms of the identity of the Israel of God in the Scriptures? (pp. 92-113) And what did this mean for Peter's audience, assuming they were primarily Gentiles? (contra Karen Jobes' recent thesis)
Third, there is no homiletical interaction during the comments or after, as this is left to the reader/preacher to take the loads of information, and craft it into a sermon (for this, see Clowney, who does not exegete the text verse by verse, but offers a sermonically outlined analysis).
In terms of strengths, there are many. I will name only three, as these illustrate this books' usefulness:
First, Michaels' commentary is as thorough as they come on 1 Peter in giving textual critical, grammatical, linguistic, and background analysis of the Greek text.
Second, his emphasis on Septuagintal references and allusions is extremely helpful for interpretation and preaching. Not only does this help the preacher choose an Old Testament lesson to read along with the reading from 1 Peter (a practice too many of us do not do), this also brings out the redemptive-historical and practical aspects of the text. For example, in 2:18-25, Peter begins by addressing servants who suffer for doing good, but quickly switches apply this to all Christians. At the end of the pericope, then, he refers to and applies Isaiah 53:5b-6. Yet whereas the Hebrew and LXX say, "All we like sheep have gone astray...," Peter adds the clause, "But [you] have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." In the fulness of times, Isaiah's statement about Israel's unfaithfulness and exile turns into an opportunity for Peter to express the work of Christ in gathering his people, of which his people should be assured.
Third, over and over again Michaels points out allusions and references to the Gospel tradition and the words of our Lord, especially his teaching on suffering for righteousness' sake. One particularly amazing example is how Peter uses a verb in 1:12, which is only used three other times in the New Testament to speak of how he stooped down to look into the tomb. Now, Peter says, the angels "long to look" (ESV) into the things we hear in the preaching of the Gospel.
The conclusion, then, is that Michaels' work ranks at the top of commentaries on 1 Peter. As I began to delve into the Greek text and use several commentaries at the beginning of my series, texts such as I. Howard Marshall (IVP NT Commentary Series) and Peter Davids (NICNT) soon became obsolete, as I found myself turning to Michaels over and over again at the end of my exegetical work to check myself with this competent conversation partner.
Like many other volumes in the Word series, this is not a devotional commentary or one primarily designed for the layperson who simply wants a general overview of the epistle. It is a work of serious scholarship and will prove most beneficial to a person with a working knowledge of Greek and a fair amount of antecedent familiarity with the New Testament. For the serious scholar I cannot think of a commentary on 1 Peter that is superior.
As is fairly typical of the Word Biblical Commentary series, this is not a devotional commentary or one primarily designed for the layperson who simply wants a general overview of the epistle. It is a work of serious scholarship and will prove most beneficial to a person with a working knowledge of Greek and a fair amount of antecedent familiarity with the New Testament. For the serious scholar I cannot think of a recent commentary on 1 Peter that is superior.